Zac and I had a date night planned for February 15th for quite some time. He had been out of town for the majority of the week so I was excited to plan a night out. I texted him to see if he would want to go to a movie called Old Fashioned.
Zac: What's it about?
Zac: Sure, I guess. Do I have a choice?
Me: Not really.
Yes, it was about love, but it was also about so much more. It was not the story of two high school sweethearts who met at youth group and got married shortly after graduation. The story depicted in this film was actually quite similar to our story. Allow me to share a little piece of it with you.
Old Fashioned perfectly portrayed an often awkward reality that comes with becoming a Christian later in life. Invitations to bachelorette parties, late night drinks and happy hours which used to be my normal weekend and now feel strangely tense. I don't want to say no, but I also don't enjoy being the "weird" one. It's uncomfortable being the only person to say no to a shot of tequila. Stories that used to be funny to reminisce about instantly fill me with shame and remorse. Yet these are people I care about deeply and who haven't stopped considering me a friend even though I stand out in the crowd that I used to blend in with. I don't want to lose these last few who knew me in that stage of life and haven't forgotten me in this new one. They are still my people.
There would have been nothing wrong with a movie about two high school sweethearts who met at youth group and got married shortly after graduation. In fact, I went to Old Fashioned fully expecting it. However, I was so refreshed to leave the theater and not have those small voices in my head saying, "I wish that could have been our story." Or, "What if we had met during high school, would it have saved us so many years of regret?"
Instead, I left knowing that I believe in a God who is sovereign over everything, everything including our marriage.
We will celebrate four years of marriage this Thursday, March 5th. Our story did not start at youth group, in fact much of our dating years were spent at the bar. Our relationship developed over many, many nights of too many drinks and in all honesty, when we starting hanging out sober, I wasn't sure we really knew each other very well. Four years later, by God's grace, our marriage is not only surviving, it is the most exciting adventure. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I think what I'm trying to get at is I appreciated the approach Old Fashioned took not to avoid or skim over the realities of a non-believer's past but rather to show the possibility of moving beyond those regrets. Showing that you can maintain friendships from the past while seeking new relationships in your current circles and both can have a place in your future. Depicting the reality that you won't fully fit in with the old crowd and you also won't blend in seamlessly with the new one. Yet in those phases of tension, you will manage to find a spot all your own. It won't be easy, but it is possible and it is entirely worth it. Once you settle in you realize: you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
"Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand."